Online Publishing Book Review: Get Content. Get Customers. by Newt Barrett and Joe Pulizzi

Note: This review is part of our Top 20 Online Publishing Books to Read in 2009 series.

Stop viewing your email campaign like a sales flyer.

At the core of the Mequoda System are 3 strategic online publishing activities.

1. Attract: Get search engines and other publishers to drive traffic to your website

2. Retain: Use website architecture that converts visitors into email subscribers

3. Monetize: Use email newsletters and promotions to generate sales and profits

Let’s focus on the third activity – email newsletters.

If you want to turn subscribers into customers (and isn‘t that our goal), take notes. You’ve got to stop treating your emails like a lowly sales flyer. It can, and should, be so much more.

View them as a tool where the reader finds value and wants to go back to your website for more.

Get Content. Get Customers. How to use content marketing to deliver relevant, valuable, and compelling information that turns prospects into buyers by Newt Barrett and Joe Pulizzi hits this nail on the head.

Referring to the successful newsletter of one online publishing company, they note:

“Other than its header, which focuses on the logo, the newsletter has no graphical elements at all. It’s designed to be a very quick read that enables its recipients to decide whether they want to pursue a particular article or move on with their day.“

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Keep these points in mind when building your next email campaign:

1. Simple is best. The overall “look and feel” doesn‘t have to be flashy. Think fewer colors, use only relevant graphics, an easy to read font, with clean margins

2. Better Content. Give them good, free content. Sounds like the opposite would be true, but it works. You are building a relationship, one step at a time. Start by giving them valuable information for free. In the end, they will pay for more content because they trust it will be of good or better quality than they’ve already received for free.

3. Links, links, links. You must make it easy for the reader to take the action you desire. The obvious ones include “click here”, “join now”, “free subscription”. Think about keyword links too. You know the underlined words that sends them to the desired landing page back at your website.

4. Size Matters. At least it does in online publishing. Emails should be brief. Have you ever opened an email that seemed to never end? You probably looked at the first paragraph or two, then deleted it. Try to limit yourself to no more than 500 words.

5. Leave ‘em Hanging. Include a few paragraphs, with a “read more” link. Think appetizer. You’ve whet their appetite for more. They will follow.

For more, read Get Content. Get Customers. How to use content marketing to deliver relevant, valuable, and compelling information that turns prospects into buyers by Newt Barrett and Joe Pulizzi.

Comments
    Newt B.

    Michelle,
    Thanks so much for giving us a nice home on your Top 20 list. We really appreciate it.
    Newt

    Reply

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